Frequently Asked Questions

Brave Browser

No, Brave will always be free to use — you don’t need to pay to block ads and tracking.

We encourage you to support your favorite publishers with Brave Rewards, or get compensated for paying attention to Brave Ads, but these features are both completely voluntary. You can use one, the other, both, or neither.

We do not have access to identifiable user data. The anonymized aggregated ad campaign related data we do collect is used for accounting and reporting, but this data cannot be mapped back to devices or user identities of any kind. Learn more

Some have asked that when we do eventually allow select ads through, whether we will employ the “Acceptable Ads” model. There are two parts to that model, filter rules and business deals. Take the second first:

We do not use the business model of taking annual fees from advertisers to allow their ads (and trackers for confirmation) to pass unblocked. Our business model does not couple our ad and flat fee based revenue to which ads we block.

We do use some of the filter rules that are associated with “Acceptable Ads” to block known-bad domains and URL patterns; and to block and clean up after HTML-native ads.

We use all-open source, and we welcome help in auditing our source and verifying our binaries on Debian Linux (verified binaries provably derive from a given version of open source).

Watch Brendan speak about this here for more on verified builds.

Beyond this lower-level auditing, we will need partners to believe in our anonymous ad attribution and conversion confirmation system. More on this as we build it out in near-term milestones on the road to Brave 1.0.

Tracking scripts (trackers) and ads that depend on them are blocked by default. You can allow ads and trackers in the Shields settings globally and for each site.

Brave allows you to opt into Brave Rewards, which includes privately matched ads that do not track you, and that pay you a revenue share to support the creators you like.

In 2016, Brave introduced proposal for a private and anonymous third-party ad-replacement system. We are pleased that it generated an informed and vital debate regarding the problem of uncontrolled trackers and ad exchanges, which in the worst cases spread malware through unaware publishers.

In 2017, we are focusing on the Basic Attention Token (BAT), and the ecosystem that it will enable, offering users and publishers a better way to fund the Web. With BAT (along with staking users with a share of tokens), Brave will work to offer privately-matched, anonymously-verified ads. Users can opt-into this.

Brave is working with verified publishers (hundreds of whom have already joined via publishers.brave.com) to help generate greater revenue per user than they receive from today’s broken ad-tech ecosystem.

More information regarding the Basic Attention Token is available here.

Brave blocks ads and trackers by default. We will soon release the ability for users to opt into receiving some ads. We will offer this option as another way — beyond Brave Payments — that users can support publishers.

When they do appear, there will be fewer but higher quality ads. Rest assured, that even if you opt into receiving these ads, trackers will still be blocked and your privacy will still be protected. We will provide more detail around this feature when it is ready.

Extensions face API and performance limits. Additionally, popular extension stores often host malicious counterfeit extensions, which have lead to millions of infected users.

Building our own browser lets us put our best foot forward on matters of speed and privacy. We may do extensions if our users find themselves browsing in other browsers often.

We intend to when multiple partners in different regions have helped shake it out. It’s a capital mistake to standardize prematurely, so we must first innovate, deploy, and learn.

As mentioned above, the browser knows almost everything you do. It knows what sites you visit, how much time you spend on them, what you look at, what is visible “above the fold” and not occluded by opaque layers, what searches you make, what groups of tabs you open while researching major purchases, etc.

Only the browser, after HTTPS terminates and secure pages are decrypted, has all of your private data needed to analyze user intent. Our auditable open source browser code protects this intent data on the client device. Our server side has no access to this data in the clear, nor does it have decryption keys. We do not run a MitM proxy or VPN service.

While we will block third-party cookies where you have no first-party relationship with the cookie’s domain, we don’t block first party cookies by default.

However, the Brave user will have the option to selectively block/enable cookies globally or on a site-by-site basis. Google will only have the ability to track you within their own domain and they won’t be able to use that information to target you outside of google.com.

Brave Rewards General

Brave Rewards is a feature in Brave that allows you to earn tokens (called Basic Attention Tokens or “BAT”) for ads you see in Brave, and gives you multiple ways to support websites and content creators online. You can learn more about Brave Rewards, here.

Each month, your BAT earnings are deposited into the custodial account you have connected to your Brave Rewards profile. A custodial account is an account with one of our custodial account provider partners (like Uphold, Gemini, among others). So, even if you lose access to your device, your BAT is still stored inside your custodial account.

In previous versions of Brave, users without a custodial account connected to Brave Rewards could earn a form of legacy points called “virtual BAT”. This virtual BAT was stored as local data on a user’s device. Therefore, if a user’s device crashed or they lost access to their device, they would not be able to recover their virtual BAT.

Brave Rewards is available on Android devices and iOS. However, on iOS, you can only use Brave Rewards to indirectly support content creators, and won’t be able to earn. Learn more about Brave Rewards and iOS devices.

Each installation of Brave (or user profile in Brave) will have its own Brave Rewards profile. So, if you install Brave on two different computers, you will have at least 2 different Brave Rewards profiles.

You can connect multiple Brave Rewards profiles to a single custodial account, allowing you to consolidate your earnings into one custodial account, and to use the shared BAT balance across your Brave Rewards profiles.

Basic Attention Token. It is a utility token based on the Ethereum technology that can also be used as a unit of account between advertisers, creators, and users in our new, blockchain-based digital advertising and services platform.

Ownership of the tokens carry no rights other than the right to use them as a means to obtain services on the BAT platform, and to enable usage of and interaction with the platform, if successfully completed and deployed.

The tokens do not represent or confer any ownership right or stake, share or security or equivalent rights, or any right to receive future revenue shares, intellectual property rights or any other form of participation in or relating to the BAT platform, and/or Brave and its affiliates. The tokens are not refundable and are not intended to be a digital currency, security, commodity or any other kind of financial instrument.

If you’re using the Auto-Contribute feature and would like to exclude a particular site or creator from receiving contributions from you, navigate to your Brave Rewards settings (brave://rewards) and remove them from the list under the Auto-Contribute section. You can also exclude them by opening the Brave Rewards panel (press the BAT icon in the URL bar) while on their site or channel, and pressing the relevant Auto-Contribute toggle.

Since your BAT and other funds are stored inside your custodial account, keeping your funds safe is mostly a matter of keeping access to your device and the login details to your custodial account safe. Brave does not have access to your custodial account.

When you connect a custodial account to your Brave Rewards profile in Brave, you authorize your Brave browser to have some access to your custodial account. Every so often, you will be automatically logged out for security, and will need to reauthorize your browser with your custodial account. In addition, certain actions may require the browser to be reauthorized, such as sending more than a certain amount in contributions. This helps limit theft of funds in case someone gains unauthorized access to your device.

All automatic contributions, such as those made using the Auto-Contribute feature, are anonymized such that no one can link these transactions to a specific user’s Brave Rewards profile or browsing activity, thanks to the extensive use of privacy preserving cryptographic protocols.

When you make an on-demand contribution to a Creator, your chosen custodial account provider may be able to see some details of the transaction.

For more information, please read our Privacy Policy.

The BAT website features the terms of service for Brave Rewards.

You can edit which sites you’re contributing to via Auto-Contribute and recurring Monthly Contributions by going to brave://rewards.

Earlier versions of Brave Rewards used a 24-word or 16-word recovery key that could be used to restore a Brave Rewards profile. Backing up and restoring using a recovery key is no longer supported in recent versions of Brave.

You can find these details in our Privacy Policy.

Brave is currently partnered with Uphold, Gemini, and BitFlyer as custodial account providers. Brave’s custodial partners are third-party services that allow users to store and manage their BAT, including the BAT they earn from Brave Rewards.

Connecting a custodial account to your Brave Rewards profile allows you to earn for Brave Ads by giving us a place to send you your BAT earnings each month. Note that support for connecting a custodial account to Brave Rewards varies by region. You can find a list of supported regions by custodial account provider here.

Brave Creators

A “creator” or “publisher” is someone who owns a website or an account on a user-generated content platform like YouTube, X (formerly Twitter), Reddit, Twitch, Vimeo, etc. We prefer to use the word “creator” as a catchall term to mean anyone who creates or publishes content online.

By signing up with Brave Creators, you can receive contributions from Brave users who enable the Brave Rewards feature!

If you are a creator, start by signing up for a Brave Creators account here. Once you open a Brave Creators account, you can register your various accounts and websites with your Brave Creators account. This is the first step to begin receiving contributions from Brave Rewards users.

A “Verified Creator” is a website, account, or channel that can receive contributions from Brave Rewards users. For example, a YouTube channel can appear as a “Verified Creator” to Brave Rewards users. When Brave Rewards users visit a Verified Creator site, channel, or account, they will see a blue checkmark next to the BAT icon in the URL bar of their Brave browser.

In order to have your websites, accounts, and channels appear as verified to Brave Rewards users and display a blue checkmark, you need to (1) register your website, account, or channel with your Brave Creators account, and (2) connect an account from one of our custodial partners to your Brave Creators account. Connecting an account from one of our custodial partners gives us and Brave Rewards users a place to send you your contributions (which come in the form of Basic Attention Tokens or “BAT”). To learn more, see our support article on how to become a Verified Creator.

Credit card interchange fees may appear to total only a bit more than 2%, but due to chargebacks over fraud, merchants pay a heavy hidden fee. Also, our fee helps cover the cost of the infrastructure that allows Brave Rewards users to support Brave Creators. It is our intention to minimize those fees as we grow and realize economies of scale.

As a Brave Creator, you’ll be able to receive on-demand contributions from Brave Rewards Users, as well as a monthly Brave Creators payout. More specifically, Brave Rewards users can send on-demand contributions (which are like tips) directly to you, which you’ll receive instantly. Then, each month, you’ll also receive a monthly Brave Creators payout, which includes BAT from Brave Rewards users who use the “Auto-Contribute” feature, plus any other BAT that Brave may pay out to you each month on behalf of Brave Rewards users. Learn more about how Brave Rewards works from a user’s perspective.

Given the anonymous and privacy-preserving nature of Brave Rewards, Brave Creators currently cannot see who contributed to them. However, the Brave Rewards interface lets users easily make a tweet on X (formerly Twitter) about their on-demand contributions right after they make them.

Monthly Creators payouts are sent to your connected custodial account each month, usually around the middle of the month. On-demand contributions sent by Brave Rewards users arrive in your connected custodial account right away.

You can only send contributions to “Verified Creators”. Verified Creators are sites or channels that have registered with Brave Creators and have completed the steps to be eligible to receive contributions from users.

In some cases, a Verified Creator may still be unable to receive contributions from you. This can happen because there is no available contribution method between you and the Verified Creator (for example, because the Verified Creator isn’t set up to receive contributions from the custodial account provider you use). The Brave Rewards interface will indicate whether a contribution to a website or channel is possible.

Previous versions of Brave

Previously, when a website or channel could not receive a contribution from a user (either because the creator was not a Verified Creator, or because there was no available contribution method), the Brave browser would set up a “pending contribution” that would retry automatically for 90 days. If within the 90 day period the browser detected that the pending contribution could be made to the creator, then it would be processed. No balance was ever deducted from the user until the contribution was actually processed. A user could always cancel a pending contribution before 90 days had elapsed.

Before that (until version 0.58.21, released on January 11, 2019), browsers with Brave Rewards enabled could contribute BAT to websites and creators even if they were not registered with Brave Creators. Brave would then hold contributed funds for those creators in escrow until the creator had registered with Brave Creators.


Brave Software is a privately held, for-profit company. We generate revenue in several ways, including:

  • The sale of New tab takeovers and Brave Ads, the first-party ad units that users opt into via our privacy-preserving ad platform. Note that opted-in users receive 70% of this ad revenue back in the form of BAT.
  • Subscriptions to our premium products, including Brave Firewall + VPN and Brave Talk Premium.
  • Nominal transaction fees attached to token swaps in Brave Wallet, and to creator tips and auto-contributions made via Brave Rewards.
  • Partnership deals (for example with platforms integrated into the Brave browser).

For more information, check out Brave’s transparency report.

Our marketing team uses trybrave.com and try.bravesoftware.com for marketing purposes, including advertising and emailing prospective customers. These domains are owned and operated by Brave Software.

In 2015, before we released to users, the Brave browser actually was built on the Gecko engine. However, early on our engineering team realized that Gecko lacked important product features, led to more Web compatibility (webcompat) issues, and overall had poorer performance. Our first full release of Brave was built on Electron, but we found that this engine slowed development, which in turn led to broken features. We then developed Brave Core, a Chromium fork, and have developed all subsequent releases for Android and desktop on this core. Chromium leads to far fewer bugs, offers full support for extensions, and has more frequent upgrades and better code-sharing with Android. Chromium powers many other browsers on the market, including Chrome, Edge, Opera, and Vivaldi. Chrome’s market power coupled with Chromium’s WebKit lineage (especially on mobile), makes Chromium the de facto standard. It is by far the best foundation on which Brave can build its privacy, security, performance, and custom-feature enhancements. At this time there are no plans to rebase Brave on an alternative engine like Gecko, as doing so would only lead to performance and experience degradations for our users.

FAQ Archive

As mentioned above, the browser knows almost everything you do. It knows what sites you visit, how much time you spend on them, what you look at, what is visible “above the fold” and not occluded by opaque layers, what searches you make, what groups of tabs you open while researching major purchases, etc.

Only the browser, after HTTPS terminates and secure pages are decrypted, has all of your private data needed to analyze user intent. Our auditable open source browser code protects this intent data on the client device. Our server side has no access to this data in the clear, nor does it have decryption keys. We do not run a MitM proxy or VPN service.

Updated 2022-06-23 — The paragraph below describes functionality that was never shipped and was never live to users. We’ve left it visible for the sake of transparency:

We provide signals to the browser to help it make good decisions about what preferences and intent signals to expose to maximize user, publisher and advertiser value. Each ad request is anonymous, and exposes only a small subset of the user’s preferences and intent signals to prevent “fingerprinting” the user by a possibly unique set of tags.

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